by Bill Cahalan
This piece was originally published in Perspectives in Bioregional Education, edited by Frank Traina and Susan Darley-Hill, North American Association for Environmental Education, copyright 1995.
Spirit of all that is of the vast array of galaxies and our own Sun star and of Mother Earth We stand in wonder and gratitude. Thanks to Sun, home star, source of light, of heat, and of our very consciousness We release your warmth to the Universe. We give thanks to soil, womb of Earth's body, mediator between the mineral world below and the plants, microbes, humans, and other animals which constantly die into you and rise from you. You become us through our food, and we become part of you at our deaths. We give thanks to water, blood of Earth, as we see you in clouds and rivers, feel you on our skin and in heart pulse. You become part of us each day and we return to you at death. We give thanks to air, gift from green plants, as we breath you now. You are winds and weather, Earth's breath, passing through us each moment. We return to you also when our lives end. Thanks to Mother Earth, daughter of the Universe. You birth us, sustain us, and will take us back again. Thanks to Earth's ever evolving multitude of plants and animals May we reach beyond ourselves and the human constructions which surround us to see you and to hear your voices, understanding your lessons for us in our search for sane ways of living. May we know you, ourselves, and all things as brief but unique expressions of the eternal, divine Mystery.
Bill Cahalan is an ecopsychologist and pastoral counselor. He has been involved in ecological activism since the 1980s, including recent protests against oil pipelines, and is a member of the Citizens for Rights of the Ohio River Watershed. He also works for community-based treatments for mental illness, including helping with the founding of the Greater Cincinnati Holistic Mental Health Network.